Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years

I think this might be the best new years ever, and who am I with? My bestest friend in the world:
I'm a bit done with New Years, for the past 3 years there has been a "just get through it" smile on my face, our family has either had severe illnesses and actual losses on New Years (and close to the date) for 3 years in a row. On top of it, I can't say no to friends and I'm helping co-ordinate where we'll go while all along I just want to do nothing. Friends falling out, putting on fake smiles as well when, ugh, it's so boring and I'm trying to get home as soon as possible. So I'm spending it with someone who loves me more than anything - except for food - and we are going to be just happy enough sitting beside each other. I was afraid that I would regret this decision but I've never felt better about it. Done scanning family photos, back on to knitting socks :-) Happy New Year, so long 2013.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


I found a new charity for knitters! Knits with love, where you knit 6inch squares in any colour or design and bring them to Wet Coast Wools (that is only 4 blocks from my house) and get together and knit blankets for women in the downtown east side of Vancouver. I LOVE THIS, I love it as much as I love this, a charity where you donate warm clothing to school children. I can't seem to find the exact working link but it is through Vancouver Sun Children's Fund.
It’s nice to take a break from the mittens. I’m realizing more and more that I love knitting so much but I have very little interest in designing new items and making something flashy for myself. My poor Jane Richmond sweater has been at only 2 rows for almost a year. I get so much more joy out of someone else wearing something I made to keep themselves warm. Plus it’s less “stuff” that I have laying around waiting to be worn. I’m happy to meet other knitters who enjoy the giving aspect (I believe that all knitters are givers, how could they be selfish with it), but I’m an introvert so I have that excuse. Here is the finished item, but we need more knitters!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


We said goodbye to our darling Tasha this summer. She was 9 and 1/2 years old. She was a mix of collie and retriever with some other mild mixes in there too. We noticed over the past few years that her hips were going and signs of hip dysplasia were showing. Our hearts broke because she loved nothing more than running through the bush. Unfortunately it was lymph cancer that shortened her life. She was sick for about 2-3 months, wasn't eating that much and then became very antisocial with her brother and best friend Joshua. We all knew I'd be visiting in early August and she was getting really sick the week before I returned home, I hoped she would eat some food when I visited as her and I have a special bond and I thought that would help. She was so happy to see me and even jumped up a few times. But she didn't eat, just some grass here and there.
So we did what we loved, we went for some walks. She could only walk around the block and would have to rest halfway through. She was always so excited to go for those little walks but as my visit came to an end I would find she wouldn't want to go home, she would want to sit in the park and lie down. That was really difficult as when animals are dying, they try to find a spot a bit further (but not too far) from home to rest. Cats are especially known to do this. Tasha at one point walked into a flowered area and layed down. My mom mentioned "you know what this means" and we held the tears back. We got her home and then I flew home. It was such a heartbreaking goodbye, for both her and Joshua as we had decided that the next morning Tasha would be put down. It was even more difficult because her brother Josh from the same litter (but he was part retriever and labrador) and they had been the best of friends since they were 10 months old. Tasha came to us at 10 months as her former owners didn't want her anymore, which was a blessing as they had treated her badly. Josh was a lonely dog and drove us nuts with his neediness and when Tasha appeared all of his needs were met. For Tasha, she was nervous and scared we would hit her but she had Josh to look out for and take care of, it was a perfect match. We always felt that when one dog leaves, it would probably be better if Tasha was on her own as she wouldn't be as lonely. It's so tough now to know that Josh will have a few years without his best friend. My heart breaks for him, but he will be fine.
When I showed up the poor guy wouldn't leave my side the entire visit. Tasha slept in the corner but Josh was always watching my every move and was always inches away from me as he knew his sister was sick. I've decided to go home for a few extra days this Christmas mainly for him as he is going to get lots and lots of walks with me. It'll be hard but I can't wait to hug his big head. Lots of people say when some dogs die they can't have another one for years and years. There are just so many puppies out there, and although Josh lives far away and with my parents, I know I'll have my own dog after he goes. There is just so much love and there are so many unique dogs out there. I know my own little guy is right around the corner and we are going to have a blast, even if it's only for a short time.

Signs that you are at your mom's

Home for the summer holiday. I seem to catch myself doing odd things, such as eating brown sugar off a spoon, buying kraft dinner, putting on my 'give the dogs an outdoor bath' outfit - realising I need to finish a few errands and not changing out of the dog bathing outfit before heading out. I'm only wearing mascara, not doing my hair, waking up and eating a cup and a half of garden raspberries because that sounds great and I'll deal with the digestive consequences later. And finally I went to Wolverine with my dad and actually liked it. Life is simple in their in a small town, kind of miss it. I crave Harry Potter almost all the time and with all this time on my hands I've re-opened my Pottermore account. Oh what fun! I love reading the extra bits that J.K Rowling has written about her characters and I really love completing all the levels to the fullest. I was late on the Harry Potter craze but I am a full fledged fan. The only part I'm procrastinating on is the book in French, it's just so much faster to read in English ;-) Yay, a fan who tries two languages! It's been a nice visit but a tough one. I have to say goodbye to my darling puppy. My dad brought her home when she was over a year old but her first year wasn't that great. She grew into a loving a loyal dog but her final days are stricken with cancer. She still has some time left and I'm just so happy I get to spend one more visit with her. She taught me so much about companionship and I can't wait to adopt another dog in the future. This is going to be one of the toughest goodbyes. It's been a long time since I've been on here, I've made a new boy best friend and almost all of my time is spent with him. I haven't been up to many crafts as I've been riding my bike and becoming comfortable at my new job. I'm trying though, trying to get some charity gifts done, it's just so tough with Harry Potter's lego video game calling my name. Haha. This post has no pictures due to my computer dying during a thunderstorm at my moms :-(

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ticking off the boxes

Okay, I am doing it! I am getting items done, no more lazy knitting for me - although I don't feel that bad as most of my knitting over the years was charity knitting or gifts for friends. First on the list is socks for my cold tootsies. I made a pair from an intermediate level book but I didn't like that it left 2 seams along the heel, I can't imagine that being comfortable as the day goes on. So I searched and found a pattern on Ravelry that I liked and went with it. I'm almost done, just need to finish a bit of the ankle and go up the leg a bit and I can see where I may have made mistakes and I can try the fit of it. So far I'm extremely happy with this pattern. This is the heel:
There are no odd seams on the heel and a special stitch is used (I really need to learn the technical names) on the bottom of the heel to strengthen it. PLUS this turn that goes up the back of the foot is gorgeous and surprisingly easy. I have a feeling that I didn't make the foot long enough and I'm thankful that this was a test round with cheap, acrylic yarn. I became a little too impatient and just started the heel :-) The pattern isn't made for all sizes, it was a free pattern and her specific measurements are too her foot which seems to be a few inches larger than mine, which isn't surprising as I'm only a size 6 and 1/2 foot. I just made sure to read the pattern thoroughly as I don't want to bother making ANOTHER practice sock. So that is why the heel starts way too soon, I needed to knit the foot part a little bit further past my arch (no need to show pictures at this point).
I went to Urban Yarns near UBC last week to get some supplies and information on making socks. For someone who has been knitting their whole life I sure sounded like an amateur to them. I'm really happy I'm taking this next step and teaching myself the advanced techniques of a skill that I already kick ass at. Plus my feet are cold, getting older doesn't bother me that much except how easy it is for me to get cold, each year it gets worse. So I need wool socks and why not make them myself. My first real pair will be done with this gorgeous merino wool from Spud and Chloe yarns which probably just looks dark. It's a wonderful brown that has a hint of metallic in it. I'm so excited and I know I'll be working on them this weekend! After that it will be fun, colourful, patterned SOCKS!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shirt into a Skirt

I went to the Plenty warehouse sale last year and picked up a tank in red and white stripes.  I already owned it in black and white but I couldn't pass up the $3 price for a good quality shirt.  Yes, it was a medium with a sewn on bra look to it but I didn't care, I thought it would be great under cardigans and sweaters.  I haven't worn it once, even under closed tops it makes my chest look hilarious and awkwardly spread out.  I tried it on again last fall and noticed that it was very long and thought why not turn it into a skirt!
This is the original black and white (and I really hope the stripes aren't showing up on your screen all warped, it's doing it at my work computer but not at home).  I took the shirt, cut it in half (making sure it wouldn't be a micro mini of course) and took the top half, folded it (took off the straps and made the front cleavage area into a straight line) and sewed it to the bottom half.  I used this American Apparel skirt as the pattern.  And voila!
A simple skirt for all seasons that cost $3 and an hour or 2.
This weekend I'm going to turn a vintage full length dress into a mini-dress.  I feel a bit bad for cutting up a vintage item but it's also going to look so great.

Ugh, I really hope these aren't all squiggly on other computers, a bit difficult to see the details.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Finishing Projects

I'm starting the year off right. I'm working on projects that I've thought about for a long time and I'm just going ahead and making them. First off, here is my Christmas gift from my mom and it was well needed. A homemade knitting needle case! I've been using rubber bands but keeping them organised to see the different sizes just wasn't working and it doesn't help that rubber bands disintegrate over time. Gross.
It's absolutely perfect!
So, Project number 1. For years I've had issues with my feminine products, as in I have to make sure they are hidden in my purse, make sure I have some and how do I carry them in my gym bag because I'm always riffling through it and they are getting damaged. It's at the point where I'm throwing out more unused damaged ones as time goes on so I started carrying them in a ziploc, I know, just so pathetic AND they were still falling out of their individual plastic protective cases. During class this past fall I came up with the perfect idea, a little pouch made with fabric that is also lined with cotton batting so the products aren't getting damaged. I was changing my bags everyday, going from school one day to the gym the next and the ziploc really wasn't cutting it anymore. I measured the fabric to the size of the zipper and made sure it would be able to hold the larger pads and a few at a time. This is what I made:
I'm really happy with this as it didn't cost me much and it's sized specifically for the products that I use. I knew that if I looked for something like this it could have taken me months and it just wouldn't be right. The only problem is that I didn't use a pattern and I haven't worked with zippers in YEARS so it took an extra hour, and there are a few little bumps in it. But at the same time it's getting thrown around with my gym shoes so it's the perfect "back into the sewing game" project.

Next up, knitted socks!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knitting Machine

These are the few little projects I was able to do on the side while working full time and going to school part time. Simple knitting projects. The first one is a tea cozy that I made for a new friend, it looks a little baggy but it fits her taller pot very well.
These are the many of mittens that I made for the Vancouver Sun charity. I have one more pair to finish and hope to drop them off next week. Looks like we have some clear skies coming up which means COLD. Perfect timing!
Oh and the weird purple squiggles are yarn that attaches the mittens to each other, I just tied them in a bow and since the yarn is crinkled it looks really odd.

And finally I made a circular scarf (that doesn't need to be twisted twice around the neck) that's chunky and GREY! I needed a darker one in my accessory pile. I wasn't too keen when I finished this, the first time it looked like a neck brace, the second time it still didn't look that great but now that I've worn it more than a few times it's relaxed and it's so cozy. It was the easiest scarf to make but I love that it's totally unique and no one else out there has it.
I also chopped the bob off but this picture was taken post workout/shower, have to show it when it's not flat on my head. It's the most amazing cut for my wild, thick and wavy mane.

After finding local wonderful knitting blogs, such as Nook, Sewaholic  , luvinthemommyhood and Miso Crafty Knits I've decided I need to challenge myself even more for this next year. I'm going to perfect the hat, finish a sock and make a cardigan or sweater, in that order. I have done all three but I'm impatient and just haven't been motivated to master them, but now more then ever I want to take the time to really see what my little hands can do.